MOSES LAKE — Wenatchee filled the podium with all its depth and talent, but the Moses Lake Chiefs let them know who owned the top shelf Saturday afternoon at the NCWAA 4A District 6 boys swimming and diving championships at Tony St. Onge Pool of Dreams.
Moses Lake set three new District 6 records, crowned seven district champions and went toe-to-toe with the Panthers one more time.
Chiefs freshman Zach Washburn could own them all before he’s done, but on Saturday with the district’s elite, he was in a class all by himself. Washburn won the 50-yard freestyle in 21.50 seconds, eclipsing former Moses Lake standout Aaron Fitterer’s 1994 time of 21.75.
Washburn, who broke the school record in both the backstroke and butterfly during the regular season, erased another Moses Lake great Brendan Eslick’s district record in the 100 freestyle when he touched in 47.20.
Eslick’s time of 47.70 stood since 2015, but came down on a day the 2018 Chiefs made their own noise.
“Wenatchee has depth and diving. But we had a great meet, no question about it,” Chiefs coach Tony St. Onge said. “We had seven district champions. Washburn had his lifetime best times today and that’s all you can ask for.”
Washburn held off Erik Feldmann of West Valley (21.77) to win the 50 freestyle in record time and beat Feldmann (48.54) again in the 100 freestyle, again in record time. If that isn’t a day to remember, Washburn was a part of the district record-breaking 200 medley relay, which came in at 1:37.97 to erase the previous best set by Moses Lake last year (1:42.47) by five seconds.
“With the 100, my underwater kick really gave me an advantage over the rest of the field and my turns were great,” Washburn said. “I went almost half of the pool (underwater) off the start. I’m very happy with both times. They’re district records and they’re my personal bests by far. Right now it’s about good times and hopefully it will be enough to win at state.”
It was good times for the Chiefs’ 200 medley relay, both figuratively and literally. They have been ever so close to a new school record (1:37.91) and they were again on Saturday with the new district standard (1:37.97). Noah Heaps swam the backstroke. Washburn did the breaststroke, Eric Kemper swam the butterfly and Ander Molitor brought it all home with the freestyle. It was lock and load for the No. 3 ranked medley team in the state. Both Heaps and Kemper were a part of last year’s record. Now they’re a part of an even faster time.
“It’s pretty awesome to be a part of something like this,” Heaps said. “Everyone has a different stroke and everyone has their part.”
Said, Molitor, “We’ve been pretty close to the school record a couple of times this year,” he said. “Our goal is to get it at the state meet.”
“We all want to swim fast and everybody is willing to do their part,” Washburn said. “I’ve never been particularly good at the breaststroke, but I’m willing to do my part.”
Kemper also won the 100 butterfly (52.77). His butterfly contribution on the relay helped push them over top.
“It’s pretty cool to be a part of the record last year and come back and swim even faster this year,” he said.
The Moses Lake district champions include: Dylan Bond in the 200 freestyle (1:49.17); Noah Heaps in the 100 backstroke (54.39); Brett Jorgensen in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.31); Eric Kemper, butterfly (52.77), Washburn both the 50 freestyle (21.50) and the 100 freestyle (47.20); medley relay (1:37.97).
The Chiefs will taper this next week and see if they can repeat these quality swims at the 4A state meet Feb. 16-17 at the King County Aquatics Center.
Team scores: 1. Wenatchee, 625. 2. Moses Lake, 461. 3. West Valley 288. 4. Eastmont, 248. 5. Eisenhower, 161. 6. Davis, 105